Personal Trainer in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, PJ, KLCC, TTDI, Damansara

26 July 2010

What Makes You Fat?

Last semester at University, I was required to do a presentation for the module of Physiological Psychology. Physiological Psychology studies on how the mind affects the body or how the body affects the mind, depending on which school of thought you subcribe to.

So I decided to talk about Fad Diets considering going on a diet is pretty a hot topic among the female students. I covered on various types of fad diets - low carbs, no carbs, high protein, etc. You may ask how is it related to Psychology. Here's an example; the no carbs and all protein diet causes you body to be deprived of glucose which comes from carbohydrates. And glucose is known as your brain's food that helps in brain functioning. When your body could not find any glucose, they would start producing ketones as replacement. However ketones do not work as well as glucose, hence affect your brain's functioning on decision making etc.

The main highlight on this post is on something that made the whole class started clapping and cheering. One of the questions that was asked by the students was;

"Does that mean we have to stop eating McDonalds?"

Which I answered "No, We can eat McDonalds and I love McDonalds too".

That answer made the whole class started to clap and cheered. But of course, I further explained that;
"It's not what we eat that makes us fat, but it's how much we eat, the calories intake versus calories outtake, or should I say how much you eat and what do you do to burn off the calories. Often people just eat too much, and not doing enough physical activity, and things just get worst as we are living in a what I call sedentary society."

And the class went silent for a while before I further added that we should all eat moderately and more importantly engage in regular physical activities.

Coming up in next write up - Knowing your source of Calories.

22 July 2010

When Normal Isn't Exactly Normal

In my previous post, It's Not All About Weight Anymore explains a little about why you should not be concern about your weight, but concern about your body composition instead.

Here's another reason why you should be concern with body composition. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, the old belief that you should be healthy if your weight fall in the range of Normal according to the Body Mass Index, isn't exactly true.

Two 23 years old male may have similar weight at 70kg, but one has a body fat level of 15%, while another 22%, the latter has a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to the high level of body fat. The researchers of the study coined it with the term Normal Weight Obesity. While you may look and appear fit, but your body is actually working like an obese person's body - metabolic syndrome.

So it can be really deceiving to see someone who looks fit, but not exactly fit, thus being a walking time bomb. But then, how do we know if we are really fit? As a general guideline used by fitness professionals, physical fitness consist of 4 components - muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular capacity, flexibility and body composition.

Lastly, I think the study done by the Mayo Clinic should also suggest people to stay away from slimming centers that makes people look fit and healthy, but actually not.

12 July 2010

It's Not All About Weight Anymore!

Very often I hear from people saying that they need to lose weight. While people who started on regular exercise complaints that their weight remains the same on the weighing machine.

Let's get a better understanding when it comes to body weight. Our body weight include bone, muscle, water, fat and internal organs. As a fitness professional in general, we always look into what we call Lean Body Mass (LBM) and total body fat.

Lean Body Mass consist of muscle, bones, tendons, ligaments and internal organs. While total body fat consist of essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat are required by our human body for body functions. They are stored in the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, muscles, bone marrow and lipid-rich tissues throughout the central nervous system and female has a higher percentage of essential fat due to their child-bearing nature. While storage fat is stored in adipose tissue, which includes subcutaneous (under your skin) fat. And it is the subcutaneous fat that we think about when we mention the word: FAT.

When we engage in consistent and regular physical activities combined with proper nutrition intake, knowingly or unknowingly we would naturally increase muscle mass due to muscular stress from our physical activities. And muscles are heavier compared to fat, which explains why there is no decrease in the reading of your weighing machine or there could even be an increase in weight, due to the additional muscle mass being put on despite losing fat. This is why it's not all about weight anymore, but it's the overall body composition that we should look into. Never mind the readings on the weighing machine scale, never mind the Body Mass Index (BMI), but take the body composition stats into serious consideration. You should be looking for is decrease in body fat and increase in muscle.
You may want to ask, how do we measure our body composition? 
There are many methods used to measure body composition namely Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), Underwater Weighing, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Ultrasound, Near Infrared Interactance (NIR). I personally have never tried measuring my body composition using the mentioned methods above due to it's availability in our country. But two of the most commonly used method would be the Bioelectrical Impedance and Skinfold Thickness method, which I personally use them for my clients' assessment.

Once again, forget about weight and start to look into body composition instead. Check with your fitness professional about it.

By the way, Did you know that despite being categorized under normal weight in the BMI chart, you could be actually a walking time bomb? While an overweight person could be healthier than a normal weight person. I'll write about it in my next post.

05 July 2010

The "No Time" Post

Okay, look. I'm filled up with lots of work lately. And I don't have much time to actually blog. However I never say no time to exercise, which is a very common excuse I always hear from people around me.

So what kind of quick exercise I do if I don't have time for my training ?
A very quick and simple one, no equipments needed and won't even take 15 minutes of my time.

5 rounds of :

20 push ups
20 bodyweight squats
20 burpees

Once I complete 5 rounds of those exercises, I end with a plank - holding as long as I can.

While It may not be enough according to ACSM's guidelines for physical activity recommendation, but it's anyhow better than not doing anything.

Have a great week ahead :-)